15 Classic Fishing Ads From F&S

The world of advertising sure has changed in 50 years. Joe Cermele takes a look at some fishing ads from F&S that are both very entertaining and very far from PC these days.

fishing ads
Who the heck feels like using words to recount a fishing story? Filming it on a Kodak Brownie 8 Movie Camera ($27...$3 down-payment at most dealers) makes far more sense. Talk about times changing. For one thing, this ad could never run today because everyone would cry "Photoshop!" The trout is painted in, but the rest is a photograph. Now I wish more people would just talk about fishing since every yahoo with a camcorder and a Youtube account thinks he's the next Bill Dance.Online Editors
fishing ads
Lots of non-fishing companies cashed in on fishing advertising in years past. Take, for example, GE and their amazing Home Freezer. The best line in the ad is, "Your wife will be delighted...no longer will she have to go shopping when she has other things to do! She'll never have to worry about what to serve to unexpected guests, either!"Online Editors
fishing ads
When you just can't cast without Europe's "The Final Countdown" blaring, rig your Astro Van with a sweet Delco tape deck and rock out. Gnarley!Online Editors
fishing ads
Yeah, buddy! Flycasters Pipe Tobacco. See that, advertisers had us fly guys pegged as snobs even back in 1955. I've always wanted to take up pipe smoking while fishing, and did once for a month or so. I guess you've got to be an old man to avoid suspicion. I was only 20, and anybody who sees a punk kid smoking a pipe automatically assumes it ain't tobacco he's puffing.Online Editors
fishing ads
Check out this ad for old-school AT&T. They recommend going out on a limb, getting with the times, and trying that new-fangled long-distance phone service to book your next far-flung charter. I mean, how embarrasing would it be to get all the way to Key West just to find out that carrier pigeon didn't make it in time to reserve your spot on the wahoo trip?Online Editors
fishing ads
Smoke a pack of cigars, get seven lures for a buck. Sweet! Other editors here recall childhood days of scouring the streets for pack tops to send in for this awesome assortment of high-quality lures.Online Editors
fishing ads
Merry Christmas to you, too, Bomber. And thanks for making my holidays a little brighter. These days, ad costs are probably too high to make it worth while for a big lure company to run a Merry Christmas...I mean "Happy Holidays"...ad.Online Editors
fishing ads
Come on down and fish Alabama...your pal and mine Governor George C. Wallace welcomes us all...I think.Online Editors
fishing ads
Look how happy these guys are. You know why? Because every pack of Raleigh Filter Kings or Super Longs they suck down gets them one step closer to a brand-new Zebco Travel Pack. Considering how much empty butt packs were worth back then, littering must have been like throwing dollars in the gutter.Online Editors
fishing ads
According to this ad, "Fish actually fight each other to get this lotion!" You're supposed to put it on your hands and bait, and though the ad isn't very clear on exactly what it is, they do take the time to tell you that it's been off the market for three years "due to the death of the originator." If you didn't see the poorly drawn angler, you might think this was an ad for Spanish fly.Online Editors
fishing ads
Remember the days when there wasn't a giant Wal-Mart on every corner? It may be a dumb question, but does K-Mart even exist anymore anywhere? In any case, though K-Mart was never liked by mom-and-pop tackle shops, there was something about the establishment that I think had a more neighborhood feel than any Wally World. I remember K-Mart ads like this vividly, and I also remember that the folks in the tackle department, at least in my home town, actually knew what they were talking about.Online Editors
fishing ads
Here's something you see all the time on the surf. A sexy lady and Clark Kent lookalike enjoying a fine cig on the jetty in safari clothes. Lots of surf fishermen smoke, but they also cut bunker, fart, belch, shuck clams and gut stripers. The only words a babe like this would have for the lot of us (yeah, I include myself) is a passing "ewww, gross."Online Editors
fishing ads
Nothing says "good job, Ace" like a stringer of dead largemouth. I'm not knocking those who keep largemouth, but man, this would never fly today. It would be company suicide.Online Editors
fishing ads
Everyone is so wrapped up in largemouth and trout these days, whatever happened to the love and sales appeal of the lowly panfish? Maybe it never existed, which is why you won't see ads like this anymore. But back in '82, Daiwa was sure all the litte-fish freaks would pounce on their ultra-light, travel-ready Minisystems.Online Editors
fishing ads
Back in '87, these fine Fishin' Suits for him and her were featured in a Bass Pro Shops insert. Thank God the one-piece fishing jump suit is dead and buried. Did you wear one of these in the '80s? I'll bet you did. I bet you won't be man (or woman) enough to post the photos in our Trophy Room.Online Editors